In a new reality show on Facebook Watch, Will Smith is tackling his bucket list. Smith is a rapper and actor most commonly known for his role as Will in the nineties show Fresh Prince of Bel Air. 20 minute episodes document as “he travels the globe, overcomes obstacles & punches fear in the mouth” (Facebook Watch). While watching this 50-year-old check off the boxes on his bucket list, I picked up a few life lessons I’d like to share with you.
1. You are never too old to conquer your fears.
The first episode of this show takes place on Smith’s 50th Birthday. Jada Pinkett-Smith, his wife, tells her husband that she would do whatever he wanted for his birthday. Smith’s choice? Skydiving. To celebrate five decades of life on this earth, he decided that he would jump out of a plane, and not only did he make the decision to do it; he followed through. Some might let their age hinder them from even thinking about completing such a task, but Smith shows us that age ain’t nothing but a number.
2. Even when we think we’ve reached our ‘limit’. When we push through, we can surprise ourselves.
During the skydiving episode, Smith decides he’s going to take the entire family riding through the sand dunes. However, by the end of the session, he had crashed the buggy into a sand dune that he just couldn’t free them from. After the impact of the fun ride coming to an end, Smith’s wife, who already needed some convincing on the idea of skydiving, was having some neck pain from being jerked during the ride. Smith feared that Jada wouldn’t jump out of the plane anymore, and although I’m sure his wife thought about abandoning her promise, SHE DID IT. Even though, it seemed she might have reached her limit, she surprised herself and actually seemed to enjoy the trip down back to earth.
3. Fall down 7 times? Get up 8.
Episode 2 of the saga documented Smith as he decided to swim with sharks! Crazy right? Well, on top of that, his instructor seemed to be missing a few limbs. Still, even after being attacked by a shark, losing his arm and a portion of his leg, the instructor pushed through what most would see as a sign to avoid the waters altogether, and continues to educate people on safe interactions with sharks. He shows that life can knock you down a few times, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight.
4. Family time is important.
As we progress through these episodes, we see the Smith's in full effect. We even see Trey Smith, Smith’s son from a previous marriage, who we don’t see very often. We see how these experiences bring about natural emotions, happiness, laughter, and just good times in general. And we know that these are moments that we will never get back. Life is short and it’s important that we fill them with valuable experiences and spend time with the people we love for as long as we are able to.
5. Anything can happen at any point in time. Nothing is guaranteed, and we should take advantage of the present.
In episode one, when most of everyone had reached the ground after leaving the plane, the significant other of Gammy (Jada Pinkett- Smith’s mother and mother-in-law to Will Smith) arrived on the ground unconscious. It initially seemed that Rodney had just passed out; something that is viewed as a pretty common reaction to fear, sudden drops in blood pressure, hyperventilation, etc. As time passed, it was discovered that he has endured a minor heart attack during the dive.
The situation led to a family discussion about the unknown; that nothing is certain, a person could be here one second and gone the next, and sometimes we take advantage of the time that we have in our lives. What I took away from this? Be present. Be appreciative of that walk you took this morning, that bowl of cereal you shared with your family yesterday, and the ability to be able to experience new things and hug the people we love everyday. For these moments, we cannot ever get back again, and one day we’ll look back and realize we may have lost the privilege to do so.
Tune into Will Smith’s Bucket List on Facebook Watch. New episodes every Wednesday.